This morning started much like yesterday with heavy rain at breakfast time. Last night I had finished most of my joinery project, but everything needed to be painted. So while I was waiting for the rain to stop I gave everything a coat of primer.
A late morning stroll to Whaley Bridge confirmed that the weather had turned warmer – very warm for December – but quite breezy. I returned with milk and bakery products and added a coat of gloss paint before lunch.
I’d spotted a turning area in the upper basin, but didn’t think it would be easy to use as the wind would blow the bow the wrong way when we were half way round. We’ve been told that the term “winding” (i.e. turning a narrowboat round) derives from using the wind to do some of the work (so it doesn’t rhyme with grinding). A boat with no engine has to be turned with ropes. Paying due attention to wind direction when choosing which way to turn makes the job considerably easier.
With all this in mind and the wind directly behind us, I drove in to a side arm which had a bridge over it, thus sheltering the bow. The stern was then blown to where I wanted it to be, so I could set off back towards the water point.
Clare got ready with the bow rope as we approached the water point. I tried my usual technique of aiming for the bank and then turning away just in time so as to get the boat alongside. I realised a little too late that the wind wasn’t letting the boat turn, so unfortunately the bow arrived at the stone wall with a bit more force than I would have liked – only my pride was dented.
Filled with water we set off to charge the batteries and find a rural mooring. In the late afternoon there was a spectacular mackerel sky, a portent of changeable weather (though we’ve been having that for a few days).